Friday, June 26, 2009

Airport Hell

So I guess its been awhile since I updated this blog. My apologies, but I've been trapped in Airport Hell.

Airport Hell cannot be found in any one airport. It is, rather, a dimension beyond all airports, which can be entered from any airport in the world. I have been unlucky enough to fall through portals to Airport Hell twice during my trip.

My first journey into Airport Hell took place in Madrid, when I was informed that my flight to London Gatwick was delayed 5 hours. I had already been at the airport for 10 hours when I got the news, since I had decided not to spend money on a hostel seeing as I had such an early flight out. Turned out not to be so early. Anyway, once I finally arrived in London I discovered, to my dismay, that I had missed my flight to Munich and that Easyjet, the airline I was traveling with, didn't have anymore flights to Munich until 6pm the following day. In that moment I knew I had fallen into Airport Hell.

It is very difficult to escape Airport Hell once you enter it. Some people remain trapped there for years. You can often see them, sleeping on airport benches, using their luggage as a pillow and newspaper as a blanket. They live off Toblerone and McDonald's and get about 4 hours of sleep a night, all of it usually occurring between 10 and 2 in the afternoon. Sometimes they snore. There are many circles of Airport Hell. The first circle is canceled flights, the second is delayed, the third is late, the fourth is missed connections, the fifth is lost luggage, the sixth is security check, the seventh is the check-in desk, the eighth is the food court and the ninth is the cellphone parking lot.

It is a terrible place. Luckily, I was able to find my way out by purchasing a 100 dollar ticket with a different airline. I was fortunate, I could have been trapped there for years.

My next foray into the abyss was in Athens. My Mom, who I met in Munich, and I were on our way to Santorini from Munich. We approached the ticket counter, only to be told our flight was--delayed. We took solace in the fact that since we were in the Munich airport, there was a beer garden. It was not the worst 6 hours I've ever spent. When we finally got to Athens we were informed that we had--have you guessed it? Missed our flight. And so we entered Airport Hell.

We spent the night there, in Airport Hell, not the Airport. We wandered through a labyrinth created by Airport Hell to separate us from our luggage. After successfully navigating that obstacle, we encountered a dead end when trying to get our boarding passes. We had to turn around after that, and that was when we encountered the Sphinx who asked us an ancient riddle. We proved ourselves worthy by answering rightly, and as a reward they put us up in a hotel for the night. But since Airport Hell does not need to be in an airport to exist, we had not yet escaped it's foul clutches. After 3 hours of sleep in the airport hotel we finally found our way out and escaped to sunny Santorini, where we enjoyed a much needed rest.

And that is why I haven't updated in a while.

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